Academy Award ® Winners Robert De Niro* and Tommy Lee Jones** star in this dark actioncomedy from executive producer Martin Scorsese and acclaimed director Luc Besson. A Mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the Witness Protection Program after snitching on the mob. Despite Agent Stansfield’s (Jones) best efforts to keep them in line, Fred Blake (Robert De Niro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), and their children Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D’Leo), can’t help resorting to old habits by handling their problems the “family” way. Chaos ensues as their former Mafia cronies try to track them down, and scores are settled in the unlikeliest of settings.
*Actor, Raging Bull, 1980; Supporting Actor, The Godfather Part II, 1974.
**Supporting Actor, The Fugitive, 1993.
Cast & Crew
This is a deliberately off-kilter, cheerfully violent, hit-and-miss effort with just enough moments of inspiration to warrant a recommendation.
It doesn't even try for basic credibility. But buoyed by hot performances, it sustains a zapping electrical energy.
Besson's history is one of making crowd-pleasing entertainment and The Family is no different.
Not known for subtlety, Besson gets the expected laughs, and then some.
The thing that saves the movie time and again is Besson's uncanny ability to shift tone, sometimes even within a single sequence, from light comedy to serious action, to genuine emotion and even romance.
No one's ever going to accuse Besson of having a light comic touch, but the mayhem in this minor mob comedy, more often than not, brings the laughs.